Movies: Lincoln

I think there has rarely been a movie that drove me to shed a tear in one of the first scenes.

Lincoln by Steven Spielberg, stars Daniel Day-Lewis in what can probably be the most important role in his acting career and the movie opens with soldiers grappling and punching each other on a muddy battlefield. The scene cuts away to Lincoln sitting in a small covered platform, talking to soldiers after the battle. Two come from the colored regiments with Corp. Ira Clark making a very defiant plea for the right to be free.

Two more soldiers come up, a bit starstruck, and tell Lincoln that they were there to hear the Gettysburg Address.

Lincoln asks if his voice could be heard when one of the soldiers interrupts by reciting the speech by heart.

It struck me in that moment how much could a person matter when you identify with the words they write, as if they were your own. How much a nation could have needed someone so much to lead them through death and turmoil.

And how much we still bicker, as Republicans and Democrats.

I have never been very patriotic because I despise the cheap superiority that it sometimes is confused with. I rally with the cause of a country. I cringe when the explanation is that we are better.

So it is worthy of note when I say I watched this movie right before the State of the Union Address and as I watched, I realized that the country under whose flag I was born had never made me feel more proud. That though there are disagreements and unpleasantries, there is, at the end of the day, an intrinsic need to set aside angry tirades and work to better the situation of a people.

That government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth.

I have never seen a more perfect circle.


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